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Jewelry store employees chase gunman after robbery

It was a scene Jewelry store employee Kate Campbell says she’ll never forget, and it happened on the day she was celebrating her 30th anniversary with the store.

Campbell and fellow jeweler Jaime Corrales were captured on surveillance tape in a stunning daylight burglary at Minebender Jewelers. The video shows a gunman firing six shots from a .22 caliber gun at the front of the store.

As glass is scattered all over the store at 450 Hollywood Mall, the gunman grabs $18,000 worth of rings and necklaces and takes off. Campbell and Corrales are seen running after him.

“I heard a noise and next thing I knew, I saw holes in the store,” said Campbell. “I thought I heard a gun but I wasn’t sure. It sounded like a gun. Then I heard Jaime yelling open the door, open the door.”

It was 8:45 in the morning, just before the store was about to open.

“Yes it may have seemed pretty brazen going after him,” Campbell told CBS4′s Peter D’Oench, “but we had to protect our store. I don’t know what I was thinking. My first instinct was to protect the jewelry. This is not what I imagined for my 30th anniversary with the store. I would have preferred that something else happen. Thank God no one was hurt. That’s what counted.”

Hollywood Police responded quickly. The burglary happened just a few blocks north of Hollywood Police headquarters.

Police said the gunman, 25-year-old Brian Kirksey, ran north from the plaza, scaled a fence and ran into a house on nearby Pierce Street. One of the homeowners was inside but she was not harmed.

They said Kirksey ran out of the home and was arrested a few blocks away.

Most of that jewelry was stashed in the homeowner’s back yard and was recovered, according to store owner Carlos Noriega.

“We have diamonds, emeralds, rubies and 18-karat gold in those items,” said Noriega.

A check of records shows that Kirksey was arrested before in Miami-Dade for grand theft and possession of marijuana.

Noriega told D’Oench, “When I came in to the store I was in shock. Glass was everywhere. I even found a fragments of a .22 caliber bullet. Someone could have gotten killed. This has never happened before. This is a family store. We have been here for 35 years.”

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